Author Topic: What's the general stand on dreams and dream interpretation in Buddhism?  (Read 3983 times)

Offline Wonky Badger

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Re: What's the general stand on dreams and dream interpretation in Buddhism?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2010, 01:55:44 pm »
Talking about dreams in relation to grandfathers makes me think of a dream that I definitely do not know if was a coincidence or something else (I did not have this in mind when I started this topic). It's a bit sad and unpleasant so those that perfer to think about fluffy kittens, please skip the rest of the post.

When I was maybe 12 or 13 I had this normal, random dream about chasing a girl around. We were happy, holding hands, just running around aimlessly. Frolicking, if you will. We run through a door and enter a hospital room. I stop in front of the bed. My grandfather was lying there. I didn't really react to this as he had been hospitalized a couple of times and had recently fallen and gotten a crack in his thighbone although he had been sent home already by the time I had this dream.

Anyway, things were not like they had been earlier when I visited him at the hospital. Now he was connected to all sorts of tubes and machines. Then he spoke to me. He said "pull the plug". I just thought "hell no, what's he on about?" and I ran along to play with my friend. In the morning it struck me as a weird dream, but I didn't reflect too long about it. I went to school as usual, went home, and got an urge to go visit my grandparents. Not an accute sense, just felt like seeing them. When my mother came home, Is started asking her if we could go visit my grandparents, but she looked totally devastated.

She told me that grandpa had commited suicide that day. Not going through the emotions and following events, I though it was a weird coincidence that my grandfather had told me he wanted to die in a dream the night before he killed himself. But it took a lot longer until I understood the symbolism, that the recent hospitalizations, the revocation of his driver's license, the deterioration of his ability to walk and talk due to excessive smoking; all that had made him afraid of ending up connected to all those tubes and machines.

So this brings up the question; was this dream some kind of message or transmission from my grandfather or was it just some extreme fluke that I happened to dream about it in a way that I could not even fully understand until weeks afterwards?
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
What would Buddha do?

Offline lowonthetotem

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Re: What's the general stand on dreams and dream interpretation in Buddhism?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2010, 07:11:47 am »
That is touching WB.  I usually talk about "both" my grandparents because I only knew my father's parents growing up.  My mother's parents both died when my mother was 11 or 12.  Her father had begun an affair with another woman while working on the railroad.  Her mother felt as if she had no recourse, since divorce was rather uncommon at the time and the source of scandalous gossip.  She killed herself with a gun in the upstairs bedroom.  My mother found her.  A year later her father died in a railroad accident.  I've had dreams in which I am my mother finding my grandmother, but I haven't had them for a long time.  I really only mention it because I think it is important to talk about suicide.  The secrecy with which it is approached by so many families, I think, makes people who contemplate it feel incredibly isolated and hopeless.  THanks for your story/dream.

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: What's the general stand on dreams and dream interpretation in Buddhism?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2010, 07:36:03 pm »
I used to study my dreams. Kept a dream journal, and worked pretty intensely with my dream content. About 5% of my dreams had some psychic quality to them: dreams that predicticted future events or involved communicating with people who were geographically elsewhere, and later confirming that they received the communication.

The vast majority of my dreams conformed to scientific knowledge. One thing that happens during REM is the conversion of short term memory into long term memory. The body is largely paralized, but the sensory part of the brain is still active. So the brain "makes up" elaborate stories to explain the stimulation of the memory conversion. And these are mostly random based loosely around a theme that is occurring in your waking life. For example, if you spend a lot of your day feeling anxious, your dreams have an anxious theme too. Karmic seed, as someone else said.

PS- dream experiences are, as far as the brain goes, as real as waking experience. Dream about playing a round of golf, and your game improves in real life.


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